Archives: February 2003

Fri Feb 28, 2003

Threats of forced mass expulsion

The repugnant idea of the 'transfer' of the Palestinians - meaning their total expulsion - now appeals to many Israelis. The Israeli army and some settlers are already organising 'mini- transfers' in the West Bank, and any serious new threat to Israel (for example, missile attacks from Iraq at war) could precipitate the brutally enforced expulsion of millions. More...

Posted by: Sami on Feb 28, 03 | 8:42 am

It's OK to Eat Belgian Chocolate

"Don't eat Belgian chocolate," the Israel consul in Florida ordered the large Jewish community there.

In Israel, anti-Belgian curses reached an ear-splitting new crescendo. Miserable Belgium! Mad Belgium! Megalomaniac Belgium! And again and again, Anti-Semitic Belgium! Neo-Nazi Belgium! More...

Posted by: Sami on Feb 28, 03 | 8:39 am

Bush Faces Increasingly Poor Image Overseas

The messages from U.S. embassies around the globe have become urgent and disturbing: Many people in the world increasingly think President Bush is a greater threat to world peace than Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. More...

Posted by: Sami on Feb 28, 03 | 8:34 am

Sharon in Palestine state u-turn

Ariel Sharon yesterday virtually ruled out the creation of a Palestinian state under his hawkish new government just a day after President Bush pledged to broker a peace deal once he has dealt with Iraq. More...

Posted by: on Feb 28, 03 | 5:31 am

Star Witness on Iraq Said Weapons Were Destroyed

On February 24, Newsweek broke what may be the biggest story of the Iraq crisis. In a revelation that "raises questions about whether the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist," the magazine's issue dated March 3 reported that the Iraqi weapons chief who defected from the regime in 1995 told U.N. inspectors that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles, as Iraq claims.

Posted by: ss471ff Maciek on Feb 28, 03 | 3:56 am

Robert Fisk: America uses Israel's words to justify occupation

Ah, to be a "viable" state! The word "viable" has now become the be-all and end-all of American policy towards Palestine. "For its part," George Bush told us, "the new government of Israel, as the terror threat is removed and security improves, will be expected to support the creation of a viable Palestinian state." More...

Posted by: on Feb 28, 03 | 1:07 am

Thu Feb 27, 2003

Israel and the US War on Iraq

It's remarkable how rarely Israel is mentioned in regard to the American plans to attack Iraq -- with the exception of occasional notices of how strongly the Israeli government supports those plans. A proper assessment of its part in this war depends upon an understanding of Israel's position in the United States' overall policy for the Middle East, and how that policy is being implemented with specific regard to Iraq. More...

Posted by: on Feb 27, 03 | 12:21 am

Wed Feb 26, 2003

Only Sderot. Only us.

These are the names: Al'a Hilo, 23, and his brother Said, 28; Tamer Qata, 27; Amar al-Dayeh, 19; Abd al-Karim Bakroun, 25; Mohammed Salhoub, 27; Abd al-Rahman Kassam, 26; Munzar Safadi, 27; Ali Abu al-Hir, 30; Iyad Abaed, 27; and Abd al-Rahim Abu Naja, 30. Eleven Palestinians, who were killed in the Israel Defense Forces operation in the Sejiya neighborhood of Gaza City last Wednesday. Most (not all) of them were armed, but were they all marked out for death? Together with two others killed in Nablus and one in Jenin, 15 Palestinians died in that day's bloody harvest. More...

Posted by: on Feb 26, 03 | 11:46 pm

Analysis: Power Americana

The US is heading to war with Iraq whatever happens, in another indication of the Bush administration's development of a hard-line foreign policy.

Tony Blair might be trying to convince the British Parliament and people that Saddam Hussein can even now, as he put it in his statement on Tuesday, "save [his regime] by complying with the UN's demand". More...

Posted by: zozo radi on Feb 26, 03 | 9:08 pm

Academics meet to settle boycott dispute

A distinguished pro-Israeli Jewish academic will tonight come face to face with the author of an academic boycott of Israel in an attempt to settle a bitterly contested issue that has divided academia. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Feb 26, 03 | 10:27 am

Tue Feb 25, 2003

Coalition of the willing? Make that war criminals

A pre-emptive strike on Iraq would constitute a crime against humanity, write 43 experts on international law and human rights.

The initiation of a war against Iraq by the self-styled "coalition of the willing" would be a fundamental violation of international law. International law recognises two bases for the use of force. More...

Posted by: NYU Dept. of Comparative Literature on Feb 25, 03 | 11:55 pm

How the news will be censored in this war

A new CNN system of 'script approval' suggests the Pentagon will have nothing to worry about

Already, the American press is expressing its approval of the coverage of American forces which the US military intends to allow its reporters in the next Gulf war. The boys from CNN, CBS, ABC and The New York Times will be "embedded" among the US marines and infantry. The degree of censorship hasn't quite been worked out. But it doesn't matter how much the Pentagon cuts from the reporters' dispatches. A new CNN system of "script approval" – the iniquitous instruction to reporters that they have to send all their copy to anonymous officials in Atlanta to ensure it is suitably sanitised – suggests that the Pentagon and the Department of State have nothing to worry about. Nor do the Israelis. More...

Posted by: just me on Feb 25, 03 | 1:28 pm

Bush Faces Increasingly Poor Image Overseas

The messages from U.S. embassies around the globe have become urgent and disturbing: Many people in the world increasingly think President Bush is a greater threat to world peace than Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. More...

Posted by: dugbue on Feb 25, 03 | 9:37 am

Sat Feb 22, 2003

Israel persecutes Palestinian technical students (IWPS Arrest Report No. 19)

Note: This is an important document because it suggests that the Israelis are now targeting highly successful technical students--not because of their political activity or for 'security' reasons, but because they promise self-reliance and development in the Palestinian community. Thanks to Haidar Eid for passing this along.

Posted by: ctslsj on Feb 22, 03 | 3:08 pm

Fri Feb 21, 2003

A Toxic Meme? Israel's 'Amen Corner' is Cornered

Who benefits from our rush to war? Forget the oil companies: Iraqi oil is being kept off the market by the draconian sanctions, and its postwar release will drive the price down. That oil, in any case, will be utilized for the reconstruction of Iraq, and the profits will be used to outfit the new rulers with offices, cell phones, and palaces of their own. So, back to the question: who benefits in a geo-strategic sense?

Posted by: on Feb 21, 03 | 4:58 pm

Threats of forced mass expulsion

The repugnant idea of the 'transfer' of the Palestinians - meaning their total expulsion - now appeals to many Israelis. The Israeli army and some settlers are already organising 'mini-transfers' in the West Bank, and any serious new threat to Israel (for example, missile attacks from Iraq at war) could precipitate the brutally enforced expulsion of millions. More...

Posted by: on Feb 21, 03 | 1:25 pm

Thu Feb 20, 2003

Sharon says U.S. should also disarm Iran, Libya and Syria

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. "These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve," Sharon said to a visiting delegation of American congressmen. More...

Posted by: on Feb 20, 03 | 1:05 pm

Wed Feb 19, 2003

Behind the Great Divide

There has been much speculation why Europe and the U.S. are suddenly at such odds. Is it about culture? About history? But I haven't seen much discussion of an obvious point: We have different views partly because we see different news.

Let's back up. Many Americans now blame France for the chill in U.S.- European relations. There is even talk of boycotting French products. More...

Posted by: student on Feb 19, 03 | 3:43 am

Tue Feb 18, 2003

Too much of a good thing

We are a biological weapon. On Saturday the anti-war movement released some 70,000 tonnes of organic material on to the streets of London, and similar quantities in locations all over the world. This weapon of mass disruption was intended as a major threat to the security of western governments.

Our marches were unprecedented, but they have, so far, been unsuccessful. The immune systems of the US and British governments have proved to be rather more robust than we had hoped. Their intransigence leaves the world with a series of unanswered questions. More...

Posted by: PRAYER LIFE BIBLE CHURCH on Feb 18, 03 | 2:20 am

Mon Feb 17, 2003

Palestinians Fear Being Trapped by Israeli Wall

BETHLEHEM, West Bank, Feb. 17 — Claire Anastas spent most of last week trying to keep her four children playing or studying while they were cooped up in their home here under Israeli Army curfew.

Then, on Sunday, the army informed her that it would soon build a new wall, at least 25 feet high, outside her house. The wall will separate her neighborhood from the rest of Bethlehem, and her children from their schools. More...

Posted by: on Feb 17, 03 | 11:28 pm

The pseudo-boycott of Israeli universities

The affair of the "boycott of Israeli universities" supposedly declared by the administrative council of the University of Paris-VI (Pierre-et-Marie-Curie) in December 2002 was the subject of serious high stakes controversy which it is imperative to clarify. Calls to criticise this position were circulated and strong pressure was brought to bear (albeit without success) on members of the university's administrative council to reverse their positions. More...

Posted by: paco on Feb 17, 03 | 11:25 pm

CNN leaves 750 words out of Blix transcript

Now, this is pretty much what we're talking about here.

How in the world do you trust a 'news' organiztion like CNN, when they offer what purports to be a full transcript of Hans Blix' address to the UN Security Council but they leave out nearly 800 words - and those words just happen to be the ones where Blix refutes Colin Powell's 'smoking gun' presentation from earlier this week? More...

Posted by: monitor on Feb 17, 03 | 10:51 pm

A Nation Divided, With No Bridges Left To Build

The show was over, recorded for one of those nice liberal local American TV cable channels this time in Texas where everyone agrees that war is wrong, that George Bush is in the hands of right-wing Christian fundamentalists and pro-Israeli neo- conservatives. More...

Posted by: on Feb 17, 03 | 7:47 pm

Case for War Eroded by Absurd US Arguments

When punch-drunk with power, you get blinded to reality and become deaf to even friendly advice. One suspects that's what's happening to America.

What else explains its determination to invade Iraq in the face of the biggest anti-war protests of modern times? Against the near-unanimous advice of key allies, including Jean Chrétien? In defiance of the report of the United Nations inspectors that Saddam Hussein has no weapons of mass destruction, that he has not resumed his nuclear program and that it may be possible to peacefully force him to comply with all his international obligations? More...

Posted by: Amusat on Feb 17, 03 | 6:39 pm

Palestinians are left to pick up pieces of homes

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, 16 February 2003 — On almost any given day, somewhere in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, the ritual begins with Israeli soldiers knocking on the door. A Palestinian family snatches up a few possessions before being herded out into the predawn chill, then sappers painstakingly fit explosives to walls and foundations.

And with a puff of smoke, a groan of twisted metal and the crash of concrete, down comes the house. More...

Posted by: on Feb 17, 03 | 1:32 pm

Bush the Infallible

It is slowly dawning on people that to understand George W., one must understand his religious impulses, which all evidence suggests are intensely important to him. His views are no different from that of the typical evangelical who absorbed his faith from the American Baptist culture. But they merit closer attention when they are held by an arrogant man with his finger on the button and who is contemplating total war. More...

Posted by: marketing Officer on Feb 17, 03 | 1:29 pm

Fri Feb 14, 2003

A Monument to Hypocrisy

It has finally become intolerable to listen to or look at news in this country. I've told myself over and over again that one ought to leaf through the daily papers and turn on the TV for the national news every evening, just to find out what "the country" is thinking and planning, but patience and masochism have their limits. Colin Powell's UN speech, designed obviously to outrage the American people and bludgeon the UN into going to war, seems to me to have been a new low point in moral hypocrisy and political manipulation. But Donald Rumsfeld's lectures in Munich this past weekend went one step further than the bumbling Powell in unctuous sermonising and bullying derision. For the moment, I shall discount George Bush and his coterie of advisers, spiritual mentors, and political managers like Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and Karl Rove: they seem to me slaves of power perfectly embodied in the repetitive monotone of their collective spokesman Ari Fliescher (who I believe is also an Israeli citizen). Bush is, he has said, in direct contact with God, or if not God, then at least Providence. Perhaps only Israeli settlers can converse with him. But the secretaries of state and defence seem to have emanated from the secular world of real women and men, so it may be somewhat more opportune to linger for a time over their words and activities. More...

Posted by: vale on Feb 14, 03 | 6:35 pm

Against the Israeli Academic Boycott

A mong the Judenrat wannabes is your old friend and mine, Neve Gordon," wrote a Haifa University professor in one of his articles. "Gordon," the professor continued, "is a fanatic anti-Semite from the monochromatic (Red) Department of Politics at Ben-Gurion University." The contemptuous adjectives did not, however, satisfy the angry professor, so in another commentary he urged his readers to harass me. Some obediently complied. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Feb 14, 03 | 3:38 pm

Against the Israeli Academic Boycott

Among the Judenrat wannabes is your old friend and mine, Neve Gordon," wrote a Haifa University professor in one of his articles. "Gordon," the professor continued, "is a fanatic anti-Semite from the monochromatic (Red) Department of Politics at Ben-Gurion University." The contemptuous adjectives did not, however, satisfy the angry professor, so in another commentary he urged his readers to harass me. Some obediently complied. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Feb 14, 03 | 11:36 am

Thu Feb 13, 2003

Interpreting the bin Laden Tape

The Bush Administration has seized on the Osama bin Laden tape to buttress its weak case that Al Qaeda and Saddam have been in league together.

But you call this proof?

Posted by: duru i n on Feb 13, 03 | 5:05 pm

Antiwar Q & A

1. As anti-war sentiment grows and the anti-war movement gains momentum,what are the most important priorities for peace and justice organizations? To build a movement able to marshal sufficient numbers of sufficiently informed and committed people to compel ruling elites around the world, and ultimately in the U.S., to restrain or even terminate their war designs out of fear of the repercussions of their not doing so.

Posted by: 2305 peteromama@yahoo.com on Feb 13, 03 | 1:12 pm

An Old Evil Renames Itself as "Transfer": A Thousand Professors

It's not every day that you get the chance to prevent a crime against humanity.

This is one of those times.

For several months now, those of us following events in Israel-Palestine closely have been hearing increasingly disturbing reports. Americans returning from the Palestinian Occupied Territories reported that the Israeli government appeared to be preparing to "transfer" the Palestinian population; in other words, to forcibly remove them from their homes and transport them elsewhere. More...

Posted by: L. P. Fernandes on Feb 13, 03 | 12:49 pm

Wed Feb 12, 2003

Nonviolence : Its Histories and Myths

Sometime in the early 1960s, I decided I was too scared to participate in the Freedom Rides. I have neither the moral standing nor the slightest desire to disparage the courage of those who engage in non-violence. But non-violence, so often recommended to the Palestinians, has never 'worked' in any politically relevant sense of the word, and there is no reason to suppose it ever will. It has never, largely on its own strength, achieved the political objectives of those who employed it. More...

Posted by: lorenzo on Feb 12, 03 | 7:12 pm

Tue Feb 11, 2003

House of Cards: Bush's paper-thin evidence to justify a war has fallen apart

There is a smoking gun.

Unfortunately -- and to the disgrace of a basically decent man -- it is in the hands of Colin Powell, who finds himself touting the flimsy, exaggerated and often phony evidence of alleged links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. More...

Posted by: delete on Feb 11, 03 | 9:32 pm


One in three reservists try to get out of joining the call-up for war on Saddam

HUNDREDS of reservists are refusing to fall in for war on Iraq. More than one in five of those called up have already asked to be excused duty - or have simply not answered the call. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Feb 11, 03 | 8:11 pm

Food running out in Gaza as aid appeal fails

UN warns that warehouses feeding a million Palestinians will be bare in weeks because donations have dried up

More than a million Palestinians, already suffering economic collapse, growing unemployment and malnutrition levels comparable to those in Congo, are threatened with food shortages because western governments have turned their backs on a UN appeal for funds. More...

Posted by: Frank Delete on Feb 11, 03 | 11:02 am

Mon Feb 10, 2003

Bush and Sharon Nearly Identical On Mideast Policy

Running for reelection last month, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel repeatedly boasted of the "deep friendship" he has built with the Bush administration -- "a special closeness," he called it. He thanked President Bush for understanding Israel's security needs and for providing "the required leeway in our ongoing war on terrorism." He praised Bush's latest proposals for reaching a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement -- a plan, said Sharon, that he and Bush had agreed on together. More...

Posted by: on Feb 10, 03 | 12:53 am

Sun Feb 09, 2003

Mosque destroyed in Israel as Ariel Sharon's Judaization project for the Negev begins

The Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages of the Palestinian Bedouin in the Negev-Israel [1] condemns the demolition of a mosque in the unrecognized village of Tel Al-Mileh, and views this operation as the beginning of the implementation of Sharon's new 5-year plan for the Negev.

Officials from the Israeli Interior Ministry, guarded by a large force from the police and special units, destroyed a mosque today in the unrecognized village of Tel Al-Mileh. The demolition was carried out in the early hours of Wednesday morning on the grounds that the mosque was an unlicensed building.

Posted by: Dimitris Asimakoulas on Feb 09, 03 | 12:40 am

Sat Feb 08, 2003

The lost children of Rafah

By the age of eight, boys in the bullet-scarred towns of the Gaza Strip are running errands for Palestinian gunmen. By 10, they're throwing home-made bombs at Israeli soldiers. And by 13, they're preparing for martyrdom... Peter Beaumont reports from Rafah on the generation with everything to lose More...

Posted by: Dimitris Asimakoulas on Feb 08, 03 | 11:42 pm

UK's Iraq dossier a thesis lift

A California-based scholar says the British government lifted and distorted passages from a report he wrote on Iraq's illegal weapons program, according to a news report. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Feb 08, 03 | 3:50 pm

Anatomy of a boycott

Should a country's intelligentsia be ostracised because of their government's actions? Andrew Jakubowicz examines the international call by academics to boycott their Israeli colleagues.

Every morning my computer opens with two email lists - one, from a colleague in Beirut, recounts the latest horrors experienced by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation; the other, by a colleague in Sydney, recounts the latest horrors experienced by the Israelis in the face of Palestinian terrorism. In the past months, one particular story has appeared in a different guise on both lists - the global debate over the academic boycotts of Israel and the petitions against the boycotts.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Feb 08, 03 | 3:33 pm

Fri Feb 07, 2003

Responding to Colin Powell

If one believes everything Colin Powell said to the Security Council yesterday, one's first response ought to be that there's no reason to fight a war, since U.S. surveillance capabilities are so awesome that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) can easily be found. And one's first question should be why has the United States for over two months withheld this apparently so damaging evidence from those weapons inspectors, who could have verified conjectures and destroyed WMD stocks and production facilities. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Feb 07, 03 | 8:43 am

Thu Feb 06, 2003

N.C. Congressman OK with Internment Camps

HIGH POINT, N.C. - A congressman who heads a homeland security subcommittee said on a radio call-in program that he agreed with the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Feb 06, 03 | 3:24 pm

U.S. publisher slams Oxford bookshop's Israel Boycott

An Oxford bookshop which is boycotting Israeli publishers is behaving in a "totalitarian" way equivalent to burning books, says a leading Californian publisher of New Age books. More...

Posted by: fda on Feb 06, 03 | 1:33 pm

Tue Feb 04, 2003

Blood, Stats, and Tears: How the Coming War Stacks Up

Number of precision-guided missiles and bombs that the United States plans to launch per hour at Baghdad during the war's first 48 hours: 63

Number of days it is expected to take for Baghdad residents to become "physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted": 2 to 5 More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Feb 04, 03 | 11:50 pm

IMPERIALISM: Washington's gamble for a new Middle East

DESPITE THE failure of UN arms inspectors to uncover any serious evidence of “weapons of mass destruction,” the U.S. government was moving inexorably towards a massive military attack on Iraq, probably due to begin in mid to late February, as the International Socialist Review went to press. By the middle of January over 60,000 U.S. troops were already deployed in the Persian Gulf region, with another 120,000 on their way and an additional 26,000 from Washington’s only major ally in the current crisis, Britain. More...

Posted by: L. P. Fernandes on Feb 04, 03 | 5:31 pm

Get Up, Stand Up

Last week at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, I talked with dozens of people from around the world. I learned a lot about the struggles for justice in their countries, but the most important lesson I brought home was about my own country. More...

Posted by: admin on Feb 04, 03 | 10:11 am

Mon Feb 03, 2003

The Empire Strikes Back: Sharon and Settlers Destroy the Infrastructure of Palestinian Existence

Nine Palestinian farmers were taken to the nearby military base. When they arrived soldiers jumped on them, tied their hands behind their backs and fixed a piece of cloth around their eyes. They were led to a deserted area in the base and told to sit on the ground, while the soldiers threatened, and cursed them, hour after hour. Whoever dared to ask why he was being held, requested to go to the bathroom, or complained in any way, was kicked, slapped, or held down with his head to the ground. The farmers, turned prisoners' only offence was an unsuccessful attempt to plow their land. More...

Posted by: L. P. Fernandes on Feb 03, 03 | 1:48 pm

The Manufactured And Real Iraq Crisis

With enough power and chutzpah it is possible for an aggressive and over-armed state to manufacture a crisis and pretend that the crisis lies with the threatened victim rather than with the aggressor state. Today, the United States has not only manufactured one crisis but two: The first is Saddam Hussein's alleged failure to disarm; the second is North Korea's attempt to acquire nuclear arms. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Feb 03, 03 | 8:57 am

Sat Feb 01, 2003

Umist decides against disciplining boycott professor

MONA BAKER, the professor who sacked two Israeli academics from private journals she edited, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by her employers,
the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Feb 01, 03 | 7:14 pm

US is misquoting my Iraq report, says Blix

Days after delivering a broadly negative report on Iraq's cooperation with international inspectors, Hans Blix challenged several of the Bush Administration's assertions about Iraqi cheating and the notion that time was running out for disarming Iraq through peaceful means. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Feb 01, 03 | 10:27 am